A top packaging expert suspects the 'timing is coming good' for beverage packaging that encapsulate smells to woo consumers after PepsiCo’s patent filing seeking US protection in this field.
On Tuesday we broke the news that PepsiCo filed the patent application – published internationally in March 2013 – seeking to patent its ‘aroma delivery system’ that uses miniature gelatine capsules filled with aroma compounds, which are broken when one twists open a bottle lid, for instance.
Reflecting on the invention and its potential industry impact, Andrew Streeter, director of CPS International and packaging innovations director at Datamonitor told BeverageDaily.com: “I think Pepsi may be on to something but it’s also a question of timing in getting it right for the market.
“I suspect the fragrance aroma needs to deliver something over and above what is in the bottle, so it’s a challenge between fragrance emanating from the liquid and that from capsules,” he added.
Possible problem for vegetarians?
One potential pitfall for PepsiCo could be the fact that Pepsi is 100% vegetarian, as are most carbonated soft drinks, as Streeter explained.
“If there is a chance of ingesting the capsules, which I presume are harmless, in that scenario the product is no longer vegetarian as the capsules are derived from cow by-products.”
Streeter said he had come across flavor encapsulation within packaging but not really in any depth to date, noting flavour usage in inks for publicity purposes and the promotion of fragrances and coffee,“products where the aroma is key”.
Nescafé’s instant coffee aroma
Referencing a ‘scratch and sniff’ wine label for South African wine Bellingham Citrus Grove that reveals tasting notes, Streeter said he believed the kind of aromas released by labels were “a bit crude compared to the real thing, but things have progressed since”.
Around 15 years Streeter said he was involved in the production of a packaging film that had an aroma imbedded in the film itself – rather than printing something on its surface.
“This was a bit ahead of its time and was in New Zealand,” he added.
Nestle brand Nescafe had also exploited the opportunity lent by a gas flush that created a partial vacuum in glass coffee jars, Streeter said, to give the consumer an instant coffee aroma “that is real enough” when they puncture the protective membrane.